EDITOR, The Tribune.
In a few short weeks the rump FNM will be meeting in convention to decide on the leadership going forward. While some persons have expressed an intention to throw their hats, so to speak, into the ring, none has, so far, formally announced not even the putative current leader, the Hon Dr Hubert A Minnis (FNM-Killarney). It has been suggested that the Hon Shannendon Cartwright (FNM-St Barnabas) may well be a leading contender if nominated. I am not and have never been a member or supporter of that party and most of my other traits are good. Others have whispered the names of the Hon Michael Pintard (FNM-Marco City); the Hon Iram Lewis (FNM-Central Grand Bahama) and, of course, Minnis. Who will emerge as leader?
There is little doubt in my mind that Minnis will self engineer a “nomination” from convention floor by one of his adherents, despite his protestations and acts of coyness. In my opinion, the man has become addicted to power and the trappings thereof. It is my belief, from sip-sip on the ground, especially here in New Providence, that few genuine FNMs are on another leadership run by a failed Prime Minister. Indeed it has been suggested that the Minnis era has come to an abrupt end.
I am a partisan of the Most Hon Philip ‘Brave’ Davis, QC (PLP-Cat Island) point blank. In a democracy such as which obtains here in our wonderful nation, however, there must and should be a vibrant opposition. Having led his party to a massive defeat in September, added with his personality, it is my opinion that only a very foolish FNM would want to publicly align themselves with him. Who else if not Minnis ?
It must be borne in mind that I am not an FNM in any way, shape or form. As a Bahamian, however, may I suggest that the delegates at the upcoming convention take a calculating and serious look at Cartwright emerging as leader. He is relatively young; well educated and extremely focused. Yes, he is baby faced, but keep in mind that so was the then Lynden Oscar Pindling in the early 1950’s. Pindling was able to leap frog over more experienced and older individuals, inclusive of Henry Milton Taylor and Cyril Stevenson, both original founders of the PLP. Age dear fellow Bahamians is nothing but a number.
I predict that PM Davis will serve a minimum of 10 years in power. By that time Cartwright would have had ample time to demonstrate the stuff of which he is made politically. With the possibility of a fixed election date few Bahamians will be caught by surprise so there should and will be more voters at future polls. No doubt by that time Cartwright would have become more mature and rebuild and rebrand the FNM into his own image. There would be thousands of first time and younger voters, especially the ones who would have been disenfranchised due to Minnis, foolishly, calling for general elections in the midst of the roaring pandemic. These would be up for grabs.
Pintard has political baggage relative to Togie and Bobo. Lewis, in my view may well be a “good” individual, but a political pit bull is needed as leader of the FNM. No, Cartwright may not look like or fit the usual mould of a pit bull, but as a long time senior manager with McDonald’s and his ability to engage in the thrust and parry of parliamentary debate, he’d make a formidable leader of the New FNM. It would take a whole lot more, however, to defeat Brave and the now entrenched PLP. Dr Duane Sands and retired Hon Brent Symonette are yesterday’s men and have gone the way of the fabled Dodo. Sands is unelectable as leader, in my considered opinion. Symonette has always come across as too smug and full of it.
Will the upcoming FNM convention be a game of thrones or will it dissolve into a spectacle of the highest order? Whoever emerges, however, at this time, cannot hinder or realistically stop “Brave” from becoming the best Prime Minister, apart from Sir Lynden, bar none, that we would ever have been blessed with.
ORTLAND H BODIE, Jr
October 20, 2021.